Ruthenia unleashed a powerful stretch rally to capture the Grade 3 $100,000 Violet Stakes as Maple Forest won the $60,000 Little Silver in gate-to-wire fashion at Monmouth Park on Monday. Trained by Christophe Clement, Ruthenia came from well off the pace before prevailing by a length, stopping the timer in 1:40.68 for the mile and one sixteenth over a firm turf course.
Sent off at 10-1 in the field of seven fillies and mares, Ruthenia returned $22.60, $9.00 and $4.60 across the board and topped the $108.80. Pinch Pie, who also made her move in the lane, paid $6.60 to place and $4.20 to show. It was a nose back to Unbridled Humor, who returned $3 to show.
“I thought they were going along pretty well up front and wasn't really concerned about them coming back to me,” said winning jockey Kendrick Carmouche. “I thought Jeremy Rose (aboard Pinch Pie) was getting the absolute perfect trip. I followed him and when he got free, I got free. From there it was just pointing her in the right direction and she did the rest. She's pretty small, but she can run.”
A 4-year-old filly by Pulpit from the Rahy mare Ruthian, Ruthenia improved her lifetime mark to 4-3-1 from 10 outings. The first time stakes winner has now earned $214,635 for owner and breeder Virginia Kraft Payson.
In the Red Cross Stakes Stakes, Maple Forest made every pole a winning one as she got out to an easy lead and never looked back, posting a three-quarter length victory over My Sunshine Gal, who tried gamely to catch the winner.
Conditioned by Todd Pletcher, Maple Forest covered six furlongs on a fast main track in 1:09.73 and paid $4.00, $2.80 and $2.10 as the even-money favorite in the field of five fillies and mares. My Sunshine Gal completed the $14.20 exacta and returned $4.20 and $2.20. Enchante was another six lengths back in third, good for a $2.10 show mutuel.
“It's great when the gates open and one jump later you're a length in front of the field,” said winning jockey Joe Bravo. “She's fast and tries hard every time. She had her eyeball on that other horse (My Sunshine Gal) in the stretch. She was never going to catch us.”
The Red Cross victory was the fourth in 12 tries for Maple Forest, a 4-year-old daughter of Forestry out of the American Chance mare Maple Syrple. The winner's share of the purse boosted her lifetime earnings to $222,066 for owner Blue Haven Farm.
Live racing continues at Monmouth on Friday, June 1, with a 10-race card – gates open 11:30 a.m., first post 12:45 p.m.
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